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Comment of the Day: Nah, we don’t stereotype Latino players. Never.

Jun 10, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

Manny Machado AP AP

Every time some incident or controversy comes up regarding a Latino player we see some excellent examples of casual racism in the comments and the commentary at large.

Most of it is pretty unwitting, actually. Like, I honestly don’t think most of the people who say these things appreciate the inherently racist assumptions on which their comments rest. In their minds they’re just repeating baseball “wisdom” and cliches which are themselves based on racism. Indeed, we so infrequently examine the “wisdom” and cliches of which so much of baseball’s discourse is comprised that we are largely unaware of how greatly said discourse is polluted with all kinds of garbage. This applies to everything from faulty statistical assumptions, the belief that superstitious nonsense actually impacts games and, yes, it applies to the manner in which we characterize players based on their race or ethnicity.

Take this comment in the Manny Machado thread from earlier this afternoon:

Rember when Cole Hammels beamed Bryce Harper in his first at bat against Hammels?

Bryce Harper proceeded to steal 2nd base and steal home base. That is how you get back at a pitcher in MLB. That is why Bryce Harper is highly respected among his peers, even though fans are still angry at him for being cocky when he was in HIGHSCHOOL and JUNIOR COLLEGE.

If you think this is bad, imagine the media uproar if Puig did this.

Look at Harper and Trout and how they conduct themselves on the field compared to Machado and Puig. People have to understand that it takes time and experience to understand how the game is played in America and the tradition/courtesy that goes along with your all out effort.

Yes, Machado really needs to learn how we play in this country. You’d think he would have given that he was born and raised in Florida, but nevertheless.

Our commenter was then informed that Machado is, in fact, American. He followed up with this:

Sorry I thought he was from the Dominican, didn’t realize he came from a U.S. Highschool and could still be so stupid

The attitudes and assumptions underlying those comments are the product of decades of people — some racists, many more mere parrots — buying in to the notion that Latinos are untamed and unschooled and need to look to some respectable white players in order to learn how to play the game the right way. Just look how surprised this guy was to see that, my heavens, the stupid and misbehaving person was not from the Dominican Republic!

It’s almost as if it’s not enough to simply say that Machado acted poorly and stupidly and needed to be suspended. One must explain it based on his country of origin. Or his perceived country of origin given that Machado is from the United States of America. But hey, his name ends in a vowel and he’s got a Latin background, so he MUST be from another country.

But no, we don’t have a problem with race and the way in which we perceive and talk about Latin baseball players. It’s all in my imagination and all the product of my white liberal guilt. Or something.

166 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. provguard - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    This is not about playing baseball, it is the social skills that need work on for everyone…

  2. idahonick - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    With the passage of time and the posting of 134 comments on this post, it’s worth considering whether CC was simply, and successfully, trolling.

    • jrob23 - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:15 PM

      no, this is his M.O. He is actually serious with this junk.

      • senotonom205 - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:02 AM

        Really after your completely idiotic straw man argument, and the scores of other imbecilic posts, you think that Craig is the one trolling here?

  3. jrob23 - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    Oh…I see. So just because you are born in America you don’t inherit any of your parents heritage, morals, custom and beliefs. Interesting. All this time I thought Puerto Rican parades, and St. Patrick’s day, etc were people celebrating their heritage and customs even if they weren’t born in Puerto Rico or Ireland respectively. I had no idea that the mere fact of being born here negates every cultural influence you are brought up with that isn’t American. Interesting.

    Gee, I wish we had more bloggers that flame racism where it does not exist and take the exact opposite side of common sense on pretty much every issue he blogs about.

    • doctorofsmuganomics - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:22 PM

      cool story bro

      • historiophiliac - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:33 PM

        appropriately smug

      • doctorofsmuganomics - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:37 PM

        I try

    • senotonom205 - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:57 PM

      You really only read what you want to read huh? The point is that the commenter assumed he must be from a Latin American country, simply because of his name, and the fact that he did something stupid in a Baseball game. No one gives a flying F. about people hanging on to ones heritage. It’s the fact that we prescribe certain attitudes and behaviors to a racial group based on racist and stereotypical beliefs.

  4. winkandthegun - Jun 11, 2014 at 7:13 AM

    Did you really write an entire article because you found a racist comment on the internet? There are valid points to be made on racism in sports, but basing an argument on the opinion of an anonymous commenter under an article doesn’t help anyone.

  5. chip56 - Jun 11, 2014 at 8:00 AM

    First: it seems like this commenter was stereotyping all Latinos, not just those who play ball.
    Second: using the statement of one person to make a sweeping generalization is hot garbage. If that’s the case then we also all think that PED users should be banned for life after one offense.

  6. missingjimmyjohnsonsince1994 - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    I immediately apologized for my confusion that he was raised in America and that I got it wrong but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t stupid, and I think the 5 game suspension proves my point. I didn’t say anything about his race in that second post, but that he was stupid (and he does appear to be stupid, or I guess you would call it immature).

    From what I have gathered I was thinking you were a homer for baseball traditions (“cliches”) that you are now suddenly critical of because you were able to pull the race card on this one.

    And let’s forget that I was wrong and focus just on the whole race thing aspect that you are upset about for players that DO come from a foreign country. When NBA players go to Europe they have to learn and adapt to the European game. Everyone knows that. It is a different style of play and they have to adapt to different customs which is why a good portion of NBA players have not been successful when traveling to countries like China or parts of Asia.

    From Grantland December 12, 2012:
    “For young Americans, a major part of the learning curve comes with adjusting to a much more physical style of play. Not only that, but Singler cautions players to “lower their ego,” as most European players already perceive them to be selfish scorers.

    “You’re already stereotyped as an American that wants the ball,” Singler says. “You kind of have to play as a team player at first and once the season rolls along, you can start playing your game.””

    So there is little bit of an example of what I was trying to say yesterday (although different sport and different aspect of someone’s character). That is spot on what people say about Puig, so I hope your pompous ego can appreciate that. I’m sorry that I used casual language that was portrayed as racist but I stand by what I said, I was only wrong on the fact that Machado was born and raised in Florida.

    • senotonom205 - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:23 PM

      No No No No. First off the Grantland article does not back up your point. The point that article is trying to make is about how the same game is played differently in two different geographical areas. If you would have said something along the lines of “Machado swings in a way that is just not how baseball is played in the United States, and that is an adjustment he will have to make” then cool, but it’s not what you said, You made a judgement about someones behavior based on a stereotype, and you proved that when you found out that he was not from a Latin American country. You actually got a lot wrong, not just his country of origin.

      • missingjimmyjohnsonsince1994 - Jun 11, 2014 at 3:02 PM

        I don’t even know what stereotype you are referring to. I honestly don’t know what stereotypes people associate with someone of Dominican descent. I have observed the way the Machado has carried himself and referred to a learning curve that foreign players in general go thru while adapting to the MLB. If I was stereotyping why would I have referred to one player of Dominican descent and one of Cuban descent? Those are in a similar geographic region but I clearly was not referring to all players of the Dominican Republic or all players from Cuba.

        And your point about the article referring to the game being played differently in two different geographical areas is exactly what I was referring to when I thought that Machado was not born in the United States, hence learned to play in a different geographic area. (Him playing in the Dominican and then coming to the USA and adapting the MLB, like a United States player moving to another country and adapting to their style of play). I guess that wasn’t made very clear, but seemed pretty obvious to me. The article refers to players changing their style to not be portrayed as egotistical (maybe you only read the part of the quote that says physical style of play which is why you referred to the way he swings the bad), but the ego part is right in line with Puig and Machado which is the point I was trying to get across in my original post.

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